Meyer Steinberg, ChE’44

Meyer Steinberg was born in 1924 and grew up in Astoria, Queens. He graduated from The Cooper Union chemical engineering program in 1944. After graduating from The Cooper Union, Steinberg was drafted into the US Army and was placed in the Special Engineer Detachment. Initially the Army sent him to New Jersey to inspect some nickel plated piping and then to Milwaukee to inspect some metal machinery for a top secret Army project. He was then sent to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the 3 locations where work was done in support of the Manhattan Project. At Oak Ridge he worked for Kellex helping enrich materials that he would later learn were used in atomic bombs. In 1945, Steinberg was transferred to Los Alamos, where he worked under Dr. Morris Kolodney at a depleted Plutonium (DP) site to produce plutonium for the Gadget and Fat Man bombs.

After World War II, Meyer Steinberg returned to graduate school and received an advanced engineering degree from The Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In 1957, he began working at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he worked on a variety of research projects including concrete polymers for highway construction and gasification of coal to make it a cleaner fuel. He became an expert on greenhouse gases. He retired with 38 patents, 500 scientific publications and a book on the effects Carbon dioxide and global warming on the environment.

He stayed active all of his 96 years. At the age of 74, Meyer co-wrote a book on the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions and how those effects could be mitigated, that was published by CRC Press in 1998. At age 88 in 2012, he made a presentation to the New York Metro AICHE titled From the Manhattan Project to Global Warming (CO2 and GHG Mitigation Technologies) and Beyond.

The U.S. Library of Congress contains a video of Meyer Steinberg speaking about his time working on the Manhattan Project that was made in 2015. See Video.

Meyer Steinberg passed away in 2021.

External Links

  • Atomic Heritage Foundation, Meyer Steinberg link
  • Coopermade: The Manhattan Project Link
  • Meyer Steinberg, Obituary, NY Newsday, August 14, 2021. Link
  • Chemical Engineer Found Surprise Role in Manhattan Project, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2021. Link
  • Martin M. Halmann , Meyer Steinberg , Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide Mitigation: Science and Technology 1st Edition, CRC Press, 1998. Link
  • Online Books Project, Steinberg, Meyer 1924-2021, (links to Reports authored by Meyer Steinberg and published by the Dept. of Energy and Brookhaven National Laboratory). Link